Once there was a kittenish Senorita condemned to dwell in a Piccolo Town out on a Spur Division of the Dinkusville Short Line.
It was one of those not-dead-but-sleeping Settlements with a Sheet-Iron Cornice on every Store Building and the Hack in which Gen. Sherman once rode still meeting the Trains.
All the older Residents were sitting back on their Surplus trying to hatch out 7 per cent. Any one suggesting a Public Improvement was led into Court House Square and publicly Beheaded.
A Girl with real Jamaica Ginger coursing through her Arteries did not have a Look-In so long as she was hung up at this Whistling Post, where every Meeting of the Research Club was a Poultry Exhibit and the local Astor played a Brown Derby in conjunction with the extreme Soup and Fish.
So the Senorita, by name Madeline, used to burst into Tears every time she saw a Train pulling away from the Depot, for she certainly had laid the Soubrette’s Curse on Home, Sweet Home.
She had read those large explosive articles in the Family Department of the Sunday Paper telling how the Smart Set hang by their Toes from Chandeliers and jump into Public Fountains, and she panted for the wild free life of the Idle Rich.
Now it happened that Madeline had a married Female Cousin living at the corner of Easy Street and Epicurian Avenue up in the Big Town where People hated the sight of a Brass Bedstead.
Cousin invited Madeline to come and see her, out of mere Politeness, for she had the Country Lass sized up as a Myrtle Killjoy, whose Limit probably would be a Burton Holmes Lecture or a rollicking Afternoon at the Tea Shop.
Madeleine saw that she was down to Class B and would have to make an immediate Demonstration of Form to avoid being permanently Benched or sent back to the Bush League.
Consequently, as soon as she found herself in the Main Drawing Room among the Ruperts and Rosalinds, she began to break Furniture and do Head-Spins on the Bokharas. Thereupon she was elected a full Sister of the gladsome Bunch known as the Young Married Set.
She sent Home for all of her Things and more Coin and applied for an advanced Degree in the Grand Lodge of the Knights and Ladies of Insomnia.
In one month she had entirely remodeled her Figure and landscaped her Hair into a new Design and carefully picked each broad Western “R” out of her Vocabulary, and she could walk right up to a French Bill of Fare without the quiver of an Eye-Lash. Also she could hand out that Dear Boy line of Polite Guff to all of those rugged and self-made Bucks who get back to Earth every day at 5 P. M. and begin calling feebly for Barbers and Masseurs and Manicures and Nerve Specialists and Barkeeps.
She learned that Rough House lost all Social Stigma if pulled off at 2 A. M. in a Private Resort with a Striped Awning in front and a Carpet leading down to the Landing Stage.
Her Folks kept writing her to come back Home because the Ladies of the Guild were about to have a Bazaar, but she Stalled as long as she could, and when she finally packed up the Wardrobe Trunks and the eight kinds of Massage Cream, she extracted a promise from Cousin and several other Desperate Characters that they would come out into the Wilderness and give the Rummies a Touch of High Life.
It was the first time that Madeleine had spread her Wings and hit the rarified Strata. For a Beginner she was there with the Spread. She made the American Eagle look like an English Sparrow.
As soon as she arrived back in Sleepy Hollow she began to turn the Old Family Residence upside down and get it stocked up, just like a Club, for the Hot Babies from the Metropolis.